Abbas and Hamas: Mortal Friends.

JDU note: Welcome Y.K. Cherson who is an Israeli writer who has written countless articles for sites like Right Side News, Ali Sina’s Faith Freedom and many more.   Cherson and Molschky .

 

Khaled Mashaal and Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: AP

On April 23, it was announced there would be another “eternal” peace agreement between the two main Arab groups in Palestine: Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) and Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the US, Israel and several other countries around the world.

This is the fourth time an announcement for peace has been made since 2007. Now these two former rival groups are set to form a government of “national unity,” which will begin the preparation for Parliamentary and Presidential elections.

The agreement was announced after the total and hopeless crash of another round of the US-sponsored and orchestrated “peace talks” between Israel and Palestinian Arabs. By the end of the broadly announced “deadline,” Israel and the Palestinian Authority were further from an agreement than at the start, with no signs of a compromise on the horizon.

‘Peace Talks’

 

Israel bluntly refused to accept all the “preliminary conditions” of freezing building activity in the settlements including Jerusalem, which Palestinian Arabs for some unknown reason want to see as the capital of their future State, insisted upon by Abbas. And Israel was absolutely unmoved by US Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts at blackmail with hints about the “possible withdrawal of political support from the US” and his lamentations that Israel could become an “Apartheid State” if it refuses to bow to the Palestinian demands of building their State right in the heartland of Israel, thereby cutting the Jewish State in two.

Yet unlike previous negotiations, this time Israel assumed an inflexible position, answering with a short “no” to the demands to accept “Palestinian refugees,” not to expand settlements, and to mark the borders before beginning the talks.

Instead, Israel countered with its own terms: that Fatah recognize Israel as the “Jewish State,” that it agrees to Israel’s military control over the Jordan Valley, and that it recognize as legitimate all Israeli settlements built on the lands Israel took over the course of the 1967 defensive war.

Kerry's attempts to blackmail Israel did not go over well.

What made these talks different from past attempts was that this same categorical “no” was said to America, and seven visits from John Kerry could not move Israel one iota. Moreover, in nine months of negotiations, Israel approved building permits for 14,000 living units and- something unimaginable in the last 15 years- destroyed 300 illegally built Arab houses.

After that, Fatah was left with practically no instruments of influence over the situation, which made the agreement between ‘rapidly-losing-popularity’ Fatah and ‘as rapidly-losing-financing-after-its-quarrel-with-Qatar’ Hamas just a matter of time. Abbas could not sit and watch how his popularity in the ‘West Bank’ (the Western name for Israel’s lands of Judea and Samaria) fades, and Hamas could not sit idly by, watching how the more radical Islamic Jihad snatches from it one piece of support after another, especially after Egypt practically closed the border with Gaza, and Qatar seriously cut the amount of money it sends to Hamas.

To put it simply, the Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas has little to do with any brotherhood between people but boils down to nothing more than politics and money.

This of course is not what we are told. The decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders to create a government of “national unity” is, as they assure the world, “the right of the Palestinian people.” The problem, however, consists in a very simple statement: if you live as a parasite at someone else’s expense- and the PA without support from the EC, USA and Israel would not last two months-then it would be wise not to bite the hand that feeds you. Otherwise, it can stop feeding and in the case of Israel, it can also give a very good slap.

Politics and Money

It looks like the Palestinian leaders are certain that Israel, the EC, USA and “the International Community” will go on supporting, feeding and protecting them no matter what. And they have good reasons to be sure of that, with a long history of the “Palestinians” breaking today the promises they gave yesterday, and the “International Community” continuing to support “the only reliable partner in the peace process.”

The most probable explanation of the sudden love between Ramallah and Gaza is that Abbas wanted to stop the talks but in such a manner that he could once again place the blame on Israel, which would mean that some sponsors of the “peace process” would go on paying hundreds of millions of dollars and euros.

Actually, Abbas was cornered: it became more and more evident that he was never going to sign any final agreement with Israel. He, unlike Obama, Merkel and Hollande, understands that the creation of the “Palestinian state,” no matter where its borders pass, would mean a catastrophe with a rather possible and close perspective of physical elimination for him personally. The same is true for all “Palestinian” leaders. They know it well- but of course, they will never say it in public.

Screen shot of Hamas leader Haniyeh, who told the graduates: “The best way for us to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday is to walk in his footsteps and provide the future generations a Jihadi education. We shall walk in his footsteps in educating the future generation to love death for the sake of Allah as much as our enemies love life.”

So they dragged on, trying to gain time, placing all blame on Israel and calling on the “International Community” to put more pressure on “these terrible Jews” who “do not want peace”- simultaneously refusing any talks, then accepting only if Israel agrees to obey “certain terms,” always carefully ensuring that these “certain terms” were of such a nature that Israel would not accept them even if the entire Israeli government and Knesset members suddenly went collectively mad. “Allah, save us from giving Israel terms it can accept!”

With such terms, like for example the most controversial demand to stop building the settlements, Abbas and his group solve their current political and more importantly- business- problems. The key task in such demands is not to “stop the occupation” but to stop the creation of economically independent groups of people.

The ‘Settlements’

Building the settlements, in case you didn’t know, is done by Palestinian Arab building companies in close cooperation with settlers in industrial areas. Such building is free from any subventions, licenses or permits issued by the Palestinian Authority. It escapes its control- and as a consequence, it leads to the creation of a business elite who do not depend on Abbas and his group. As a result, that same sector of the Palestinian economy closely tied to Israel and independent of the PA, which Arafat methodically and ruthlessly destroyed, is now restoring at an alarming- for Abbas- rate.

It is this, and not some non-existent “occupation,” that is the true reason why Abbas with such a maniacal insistence, designated the demand “to freeze any building” as number one on his long list of concessions he wanted to get from Israel for the doubtful privilege of continuing negotiations. The issue of a building freeze is for Abbas the question of power- and survival. He and his clique simply could not permit it, just as they could not reach an agreement with Israel about refugees, borders and the obligation to stop supporting terrorism against Israel; the solution could convert a “Palestinian State” from the Golden Dream to a crude reality, with all the consequences and responsibilities it can imply, and this is something Palestinian leaders want to avoid at all costs.

Continuing to steal money received from the USA and EU is much easier; after all, the lion’s share of those exorbitant sums Palestinian leaders (acting on behalf of the non-existent “Palestinian people” of course) have been receiving on a regular basis from Europeans and Americans alike have been mysteriously disappearing for the last 25 years. It would be difficult to believe that Palestinian leaders are unaware of its final destination.

So if any moves for Abbas are impossible or lead to the loss of power, the only favorable maneuver for him is to pass the ball to some other player’s camp, like Hamas- and let him get all the kicks without getting anything else. Nobody hopes that Hamas will get from Israel more than Abbas could get, but it gives Abbas the chance to go on being a good guy in the eyes of American and European governments – and a hope that the payments will keep on coming as usual.

The End Result

The final struggle for power and Western financial support is inevitable. Abbas hopes to convince the US to agree with an “unbiased technocratic government”- which with the current American President’s natural inclination to Muslim terrorists, will not be too difficult a task. Then the next step is to continue getting from the West dozens of millions of dollars of support, which will in a very short time disappear as mysteriously as the hundreds of millions sent to Arafat.

The hope of Hamas is to demonstrate to its Arab sponsors that it is as relentless as usual in its fight against the “occupation” of “native Arab land” situated in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ramat Gan, Jerusalem and other equally “native” territories, and to prove that its positions are stronger than ever. Hamas would then get from them the same that Abbas has been getting from the US and Europe- with the same result.

However, these two approaches on how to steal money from Western and/or Arab sponsors hide an irreconcilable contradiction. Hamas has already announced that it would go on demanding that Abbas stop any and all cooperation with Israel in security matters.

Abbas can make long and passionate speeches about how he will fight to the last breath to put an end to the occupation of Jews in the “Arab lands” of Judea of Samaria- but he understands that cutting this cooperation will leave him practically defenseless against the well-organized, trained and armed Hamas strongmen and will rapidly convert him into a political corpse. Knowing the nature of his “peaceful Palestinians,” he also understands that this can rapidly make him into not only a political corpse but an actual cadaver. And Mahmoud Abbas is more sensitive to the problem of keeping his own precious skin intact than even Yasser Arafat used to be.

Abbas and Hamas sound similar, but their contradictions cannot be smoothed over with pleasant talks and false embraces, which makes this “historical agreement” just another act in the centuries-long show, pompously called “Arab Unity.”

Y.K. Cherson

 

 

 

 

 

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